9 out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke and nearly 4 out of 10 have three or more risk factors, according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Burlington, Ontario (PRWEB) February 20, 2014
February is Heart Health month, aimed at educating Canadians on heart healthy choices, and to celebrate, Life Science Nutritionals wants Canadians to join them in making three simple lifestyle changes: eating right, getting enough heart-healthy nutrients, and exercising regularly.
9 out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke and nearly 4 out of 10 have three or more risk factors, according to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. What many don’t realize is they can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 80 percent simply by changing their lifestyle.
“The good news is that most of these risk factors are within our control,” says registered dietician and LSN health consultant, Jackie McKenzie. “The important thing is to start making these changes now.”
Eating right is important for promoting heart health by maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure, managing blood sugar, and keeping bad cholesterol levels in check – all of which are key risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
A heart healthy diet includes 7 servings of fruits and vegetables and 21 to 38 grams of fibre daily, and 2 servings of fatty fish per week. It also means avoiding processed foods that are loaded with saturated fats and added sugar, limiting consumption of unsaturated fat to 2 to 3 tablespoons, sodium to 2,300 mg and sugar to 6 to 9 teaspoons per day.
“What you don’t eat is as important if not more than what you do eat,” says McKenzie who is alarmed by the health washing of a lot of prepackaged foods. “It’s a good idea to steer clear of prepackaged foods, even if they are labeled as ‘healthy’ as most contain a lot of extra fat, salt or sugar to compensate for what isn’t in them.”
Often even the best diets are lacking the essential heart-healthy nutrients. For example, a Heart & Stroke Foundation survey found that the average Canadian is getting less than half of the recommended daily amount of fibre. On average, Canadians consume 14 grams daily, which is well below the recommended 21 to 38 grams.
That’s when it’s important to supplement heart-healthy nutrients, like Omega 3 and fibre. Both are integral to maintaining heart health. Fibre promotes heart health by controlling blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol while Omega 3 does so by reducing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing triglyceride levels.
“It’s difficult to get a perfectly balanced diet,” says McKenzie. “Even the healthiest diets are lacking in something. Usually it’s fibre, Omega 3, Calcium or Vitamin D, which are difficult to obtain through diet alone.”
Regular activity also helps prevent and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer and obesity. It does this by improving heart function, lowering total cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol and decreasing blood pressure and resting heart rate.
The Heart & Stroke Foundation recommends adults “should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.” It can be as simple as taking the stairs a few extra floors, going for a brisk walk during lunch hour or going for a bike ride with the kids.
About Life Science Nutritionals
Founded in 2005 by health and nutrition expert, Stuart Lowther, Life Science Nutritionals specializes the manufacture of premium quality gummy vitamins for kids and adults, under the trade names IronKids and Adult Essentials.
Life Science Nutritionals is Canada’s leader in gummy vitamin manufacturing, sales and distribution, winning numerous consumer and parent choice awards, including the Best New Product Award and the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Award.